The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is confirming the first case of measles in the state this year.
The department announced Wednesday that a person in southeastern Michigan is being hospitalized after recently traveling internationally and getting sick.
Michigan had one confirmed case of measles last year. There were 667 cases nationally in 2014, including five in Michigan. A majority of those cases involved people who were not vaccinated.
In a statement, Michigan's Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells emphasized the importance of vaccinations in preventing deadly diseases like measles.
“Immunizations are the best way to protect our families and communities from the harmful, sometimes deadly, consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles. If you have questions about a child’s vaccination status or your own vaccination history, talk to your doctor right away to ensure your family has optimal protection.”
The state notes that measles is a highly contagious illness. Measles typically starts with a high fever, red eyes, runny nose, sensitivity to light, and eventually rashes on the face and head that spread to other parts of the body.
Michigan has one of the worst vaccination rates in the country. It currently ranks 43rd in immunization rates for preschoolers.
The CDC recommends that children receive two doses of the MMR vaccine, with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.